When “Inner Healing” Goes Wrong
Last week in Inner Healing And Deliverance, I shared some of my views on inner healing. I believe ministering inner healing is certainly valid, but I don’t believe we should see it as a condition for physical healing or deliverance. It often follows physical healing or deliverance.
Today we’ll look at how “inner healing” ministry gone wrong can do more harm than good.
When I Tried Getting Christian “Inner Healing” Ministry
I tried getting some Christian “inner healing” ministry in my late teen years. I felt overwhelmed with emotional pain over the past and I didn’t know what else to do.
It didn’t help. In fact, it seemed to make the problems worse!
The extreme with “inner healing” ministry gone wrong is that it puts faith in the problem instead of in God and ends up exacerbating and magnifying the problem instead of getting people free. That’s what I experienced as a teen.
Scripture says in Romans 6:11 to count ourselves dead to sin and alive to God. When “inner healing ministry” goes wrong, it teaches people to identify with their issues rather than with Christ. When the very thing we need to do is to consider ourselves dead to that issue and alive to God, “inner healing” gone wrong teaches us to consider ourselves very much alive to the problem and dead to God.
Dan Mohler shared the story of being gripped with fear of the dark after just seeing the Holy Spirit do a glorious work. He overcame the attack, and God said “You don’t have a ‘problem.’ It’s an attack from the outside trying to get in.”
If Dan had identified with the problem as his own, that attack would have gotten in! Dan didn’t have a spirit of fear! But Satan’s tactic was to try to get him to identify with a spirit of fear (a problem) so that spirit could gain a foothold in his life.
This is a common tactic of the enemy. He attacks us in our thoughts and emotions, trying to get us to identify with the problem so as to give him a foothold. He brings up issues from the past and tries to get us to “own” them instead of considering ourselves dead to them.
Many Christians have experienced this kind of attack. Think of a believer who Jesus set free from pornography. All of the sudden comes a barrage of dirty thoughts. It may be “an attack from the outside trying to get in,” but if the believer suddenly identifies with “having a lust problem,” that attack will get in. Satan uses lying accusations in an attempt to plant fear and doubt that Jesus has really set us free.
That’s what I was experiencing during that period of my late teen years. Instead of considering myself dead to sin and alive to God, “inner healing” gone wrong encouraged me to identify with old problems instead of identifying with Christ. I only became more aware my “issues” and less aware of Jesus!
Even when a person does have a problem, Satan will lose his foothold in that area when the person stops identifying with the problem and starts identifying with Christ. That’s how the “free gift of righteousness” works to bring change and redemption.
Inner Healing Ministry Must Be Gospel-Centered!
Inner healing ministry done right is about applying gospel truth.
The extreme of “inner healing” ministry gone wrong is when all of the sudden we have ten reasons we think a person can’t be free yet. I’ve prayed for people who were only more frustrated after weeks of that kind of ministry, and seen them set free in a few minutes. That was only possible because I didn’t believe those things had to be dealt with first. The resolution of those issues followed, not preceded, the deliverance.
I’ve heard some inner healing ministers make it clear that they believe everybody has a fragmented soul and we will always be working through problems and never really hope to be free. I know that’s far from true. It’s an extreme view. It’s accepting something as “normal” that should be subnormal in the church. People who think this way have no idea how much of heaven it’s possible to experience on earth! Jesus is able to save completely those who come to God through Him. (Hebrews 7:25)
If ministering inner healing to others is leaving you heavy or depressed, there’s something wrong. If you are getting “inner healing” ministry and it’s leaving you all the more frustrated with feelings of despair that you don’t know if you’ll ever get through your “issues,” something is wrong. We will never identify with Christ and his death and resurrection if we continue to self-identify by our problems. “Inner healing” done right teaches us to identify our “issues” as having been crucified with Christ, instead of continuing to resurrect them.
Not Hurt, Depressed, Or Abandoned!